Vomiting and a Love Letter to a Math Teacher

I'm thinking the title of this post might catch your eye.  I hope you'll read this whole post and share it with others.  (Actually I always hope that, but I particularly hope it for this one.)

Let me state this clearly; although I had good math teachers when I was in school, I am NOT a math person.  Honestly, I hate math. (Sorry!)  I have math anxiety.  I have math-phobia.  I am TRYING not to pass this on to my son...

Back in the beginning of the school year (actually before the school year actual began) when I saw the list of teachers my son was going to have for the year, I was a little apprehensive (ok, maybe more than a little) about his math teacher.  There was no information on her on the school's website, but digging around I found that she had taught for only 2 years at our high school.  Immediately, I RUSHED to judgement.  (You can already see the wrongness here, right?)  She's young.  She's doesn't have a lot of experience.  What does she know?  This is going to be a disaster!


I immediately changed my mind on back to school night.  (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2018/10/a-tale-of-two-teachers.html)  I was wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

Since that back to school night, this teacher has proven to be one of the best teachers I have ever met and that my son has been lucky enough to have.  We have kept in touch via email letting me know of his achievements:  "I was just grading J's test and he did really well! He earned an 86.5%. I could tell he felt more confident when he was handing it in today. I am very proud of his hard work and I hope he is too!"  She lets me know when he is struggling AND has a plan to help him:  "On this quiz he didn't answer 3 of the questions which was really what brought his grade down. The other mistakes came from forgetting to multiply (he added instead) for a few of the problems. If J ever feels that he is rushed during the quiz, he can ask for extra time after school or during lunch to finish. I never really time quizzes or tests as I would rather give students the time they need to check over their work. Also, I think that J would benefit from some extra practice. Before the next test I will be providing him with extra practice problems that I suggest he work on at home (a few problems a night to just make sure he is getting the hang of it). In addition, I will be changing his seat today. He is very tall so I had him sitting in the back, however I think moving him up front will help him stay focused in class. "

How can I NOT sing this woman's praises.  She is truly what a teacher SHOULD be.  (At least that's how I see it!)  She wants her students to understand the subject.  She wants them to do well.  She works WITH them and increases their confidence.  How she is approaching them and teaching them is not just about math; it's advice that can be applied to any subject.
But what does this have to do with vomiting?  Let me backtrack (yet again).
I have been blessed with a child who is very rarely ill.  He had his share of colds, particularly when he was in nursery school (the first year was the killer), but he is generally a pretty healthy kid.  He missed one day of school last year and that was not due to illness, but to a family function that took place on a Friday.  The last illness I can recall was this past summer when he got strep right after school let out:  https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2018/06/schools-out-summer-vacation.html.  Since then, nada...

Or at least until 4:45 am Wednesday morning...

Usually I'm up before then, but Tuesday was a snow day and Wednesday there was a delayed opening, so I planned to sleep until after 5.  (Just to keep you on the school calendar:  Thursday is a half day while the kids have Friday and Monday off.)  My son comes into our room and says he feels a little "urpy."  I ask if he thinks he's going to throw up; he replies no.  We think it just might be gas.  He doesn't feel warm.  He heads back to bed and I give him a bit of a back rub to try and relax him.  He says he feels a little better.  I go back to bed, but turn on the news to see what the weather might bring today.  I figure after 5 I'll head out and start cleaning up the snow and ice that yesterday brought.  I'm just thinking that I should get up and get dressed when...

I hear this funny little cough coming from my son's room.  I know that cough.  It's not really a cough.  It's a warning signal.  I might have actually said "uh oh" out loud.  If I didn't, I definitely DID in my head.  The next thing you know my son is headed for the bathroom and I'm thinking he's not going to make it.  (Even though the bathroom is less than 10 feet away.)

By 5:30 the kid is back in bed and I'm on my hands and knees in the bathroom trying to clean up a disgusting explosion.  (Parents you KNOW what I mean!)  Delayed opening or not, the kid was not going to school.

So how does this all lead back to my favorite math teacher?  Well, as of Monday, there was supposed to be a math test on Tuesday.  But Tuesday was a snow day.  Which lead us to Wednesday. But Wednesday was a delayed opening, which means less time per class.  The same can be said of Thursday (the half day).  I really don't want this hanging over his head with the four day weekend, so I did what any good (non-helicoptering) mother would...I sent an email.

Wouldn't you know it; even BEFORE the school day had begun, I had an email back which said in part:  "Due to the delay and the students already having other tests planned for today I am actually moving the test to next week Wednesday 2/20. This way they have some more time to prepare and they don't rush through it."

What a teacher!  She takes into consideration other classes.  She knows that time is an issue.  She's moving the test, but doesn't move it to the first day after the break.  She knows that they are not going to be studying over break, so she plans another day to review and then a test.  She is so thoughtful!  I LOVE it!

So this being Valentine's Day...Ms. S, I just want you to know that I LOVE the way you think.  I LOVE the way you teach.  I LOVE the attention you give not just to my son, but to all your students.  I LOVE that you are prepared for the unexpected.  I LOVE that you want them to learn and to be able to express that knowledge.   I LOVE that you are my son's teacher.  Thank you!  

(And because this is Valentine's Day...I'd like to spread a little love to ALL teachers, especially in light of what happened one year ago in Parkland, Florida.  You love and care for our kids, no matter what...Thank you!)


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